Military Folks Dig “My Little Pony”


Maybe I have my head in the sand, but as of this morning I had not devoted one millisecond of thought to the cartoon My Little Pony in about 20 years.

But don’t tell that to a growing group of servicemembers (and, presumably, their spouses) who think My Little Pony is where it’s at. Since a 2010 show remake called “My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic” hit TV,  the 1980s franchise has gained a following of people who relate to its message of love, friendship and tolerance. Think of these folks like the people who are really into Star Wars. Or Twilight.

Part of the “Bronie” nation, “Military Bronie” My Little Pony fans are picking up steam, and even attended annual BronieCon conference where they had their own special lunch meet-up, according to this story.

To identify themselves downrange, many MilBronies have self designated special uniform patches like this one, called a “cutie mark,” which we found on their Facebook page:

In response to the recent buzz about these patches, the Pentagon has made it clear that “non-authorized patches” are not OK, according to this story. And in response that, the Military Bronie community has made it clear that they do not consider themselves above the rules or promote the use of unauthorized patches.

From the Bronie site FOB Equestria:

Let’s be real here. Its great that you love the show. It’s great that you enjoy the messages of love and tolerance. It’s great that you are proud of your fandom. But remember, we may be bronies, but we’re members of the armed forces first and foremost. This isn’t a job, it’s a lifestyle. Watching My Little Pony is just a hobby, and wearing MLP patches is not authorized. It doesn’t matter if this was a harmless convention. This is a uniform violation and you can get in huge trouble for it.

We at FOB Equestria believe that any person wearing their uniform should ensure that they are following the proper uniform regulations set down by their respective branch of service. Not every uniform is the same and not every nation has the same uniform regulations. We encourage you to take another look at your uniform regulation orders so we can avoid a fiasco like this in the future.

But, as servicemembers know, unauthorized patches are not new with the Bronie community, and are often overlooked by commands. For example, these servicemembers sported their own combat knitters patches. And my husband’s unit’s 1st Sgt. issued “God Squad” patches last deployment to a group of Soldiers who regularly attended Bible studies and help prayer services.

Are these patches really that big of a deal? Or are people only getting up in a bind about them because they are a rainbow and called a “cutie mark?”

About the Author

Amy Bushatz
Amy is the editor in chief of’s spouse and family blog A journalist by trade, Amy also covers spouse and family news for where she is the managing editor of spouse and family content. An Army wife and mother of two, Amy has been featured as a subject matter expert on, NPR, Fox News, NBC, CBS, ABC and BBC as well as in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal and Washington Post. Follow her on twitter @amybushatz.

85 Comments on "Military Folks Dig “My Little Pony”"

  1. I don't know about a slippery slope here, but this sort of flagrant unauthorized insignia is embarrassing. I remember some of my airman adorning a checkpoint with plastic army men and matchbox cars. I nearly flipped my ever-loving mind, but kept my composure and helped secure more appopriate outlets for their youthful imaginations, anxiety and need to cope. I sure as hell don't want people of the world looking upon [us] as children at war. I think it reduces our perceived authority and professionalism. These are good troops acting the fool here and I think it would be a waste not to better redirect their efforts and energy.

  2. If you allow that patch to be worn on an uniform, how would you feel if a soldier put a KKK patch on his uniform? It is a slippery slope and standards should be maintained.

  3. LeeretArmy | July 19, 2012 at 8:48 am |

    WTF how is this an issue regulations are regulations what part of no unauthorized patches don't they get. My little Pony REALLY I don't get it. What is happening to our military. Glad I retired when I did. I would have lost my mind if one of my troops showed up with a patch like that.

  4. If it's not authorized don't wear it.

  5. I think our military bearing started to go downhill when flogging was outlawed.

  6. If I was in charge of a guy caught wearing a "My Little Pony," patch on his combat uniform he would find himself in the combatives pit for a week or until he changed into his warrior mentality.

  7. Mark Kaplan | July 19, 2012 at 9:36 am |

    It's no different than any other "morale patch", just a little more…colorful.It's no different than any other "morale patch", just a little more…colorful.

    And y'know, if you're gonna' wear a UA patch, I'd rather children in foreign lands see "Rainbow Dash" than "Infidel" or "Pork Eating Crusader".

  8. Mark Kaplan | July 19, 2012 at 9:37 am |

    t's no different than any other "morale patch", just a little more…colorful.

    And y'know, if you're gonna' wear a UA patch, I'd rather children in foreign lands see "Rainbow Dash" than "Infidel" or "Pork Eating Crusader".

  9. Is this article in any way satire? My Little Pony??? This just can't be for real.

  10. Citharistria | July 19, 2012 at 10:02 am |

    My husband (currently deployed) is a proud Brony and we had My Little Ponies on our wedding cake. Wearing a patch is taking things way too far, but I don't see what's wrong with being a fan of a show. How is it any worse than Spongebob or Game of Thrones?

  11. Maybe they should be wearing a Power Puff Girls patch.

  12. If i'm not mistaken he is out of uniform and a fag.

  13. If the Army did not want Soldiers to play velcro patch games, the Army should not have made velcro patches for the uniform. Somebody did not think it through and now they want to drop the hammer. It is an on the spot correction that takes a second to implement.

  14. I'm glad my WWII combat vet great-grand father isn't alive to see this… If one of my guys developed an all encompassing obsession with My Little Pony to the point of refering to himself as part of some bizarre sub-culture, I think I might actually order a psych eval. This is easily the creepiest thing I've seen in my entire time in service. If you want to be an adult and play with toys and watch little girl's cartoon shows… stay home. It's your right to act like a child, but the military isn't the place for it.

  15. My Little Pony doesn't project the killer attitude that we're going for. Sponge Bob doesn't either, although PowerPuff Girls definitely kicks arse! HooRah!!! Maybe a R. Lee Ermy patch???

  16. Stupid, Immature and Unprofessional!

  17. as an army freaking embarrassing..hubby agrees..GROW UP ARMY

  18. Are you fricken kidding me! There are plenty of age appropriate self help/life lesson books that can get across the same message. If they are looking for a life philosophy maybe they should take what they've learned from their life experiences and come up with one on their own. Oh wait, they can't because they haven't grown up yet and are too immature to think on their own. The little pony patches for military uniforms are ridiculous and should be burned.

  19. Where are the NCOs??? if this clown was in my unit I'd rip his GD MF sleeve off with his arm still in it.

  20. velcro causes agent orange !

  21. StarlaRose | July 19, 2012 at 7:31 pm |

    I like My Little Pony, and I'm 28. There's a whole subculture to it that a lot of adults obviously are not aware of. The creators, esp the super awesome lady who helped re-create it converses with MLP fans , and knows there's a teen/adult crowd that like it. Nothing wrong with liking MLP, nothing. To each their own I say!

    That aside, anything that goes against what a UNIform stands for shouldn't be allowed, even in a joking manner. We are one force, and if you have a big blue patch on your arm you're standing out from everyone else. Being in the front lines is not a time for you to express your individuality.

  22. My Little Pony? Are these people for real? What is happening to our military? Leaders, ENFORCE THE STANDARDS! That is why you are NCO’s.

  23. SFC(RET) Tim | July 19, 2012 at 8:24 pm |

    Follow the regs

  24. It is obvious that this Soldier have no pride and respect for the uniform he wears. He is lucky I'm retired. If I was his NCO and catch him wearing this patch on his sleeve he will wish he had never done it. Tears will come out of his eyes from the pain he will suffer form sh….g in the US ARMY uniform.

  25. WTF. Tolerance and cuddles aside, GROW THE F*** UP! Emulating a little cartoon about talking ponies that came out over 20 years ago and who's main audience is little girls in grade school . . . well damn, I just don't know what to say. I'm all for self-identification and belonging to something but for christ's sake, at least pick GI Joe or Transformers. This "Bronie" stuff is just creepy and effeminate.

  26. ya know i just joined the military, and i do like watching MLP, and yes im a bronie of sorts, however this is goin a bit to far. i agree with few of other comments but most are just insulting. yes what he is doing is wrong and he should be penalized to a point. what this guy is doing is just showing off what he likes for a couple min, is that so hard to do or are we just stuck in a uniformity and be like Asians who all look the same ( srry to any Asian who read that) Most of you think that MLP is ment for little grade school girls, did you know there is more adult and teen scripting and referencing then there is for little girls to understand. i like that show and im a brony and you know what im in the military i like what he has done to personalize himself and you know what from the brony community to all you haters, ill let you hate cause its not gonna get you anywhere in life

  27. Terry R. Kelley | July 20, 2012 at 10:56 am |

    I can’t belive the little pony can be put on when the Recondo and Jungle warfare can’t .

  28. Really?

  29. Just goes to show you that the M.C. has it down by not having 'patches' in the first place. No one is more important or special in the Corps, we're all one team.

  30. grown ass men wearing My Little Pony patches in the Military? …it's stuff like this that makes me not want to enlist.

  31. Not your wife | July 20, 2012 at 6:08 pm |

    I thought the military uniform was a sign of pride and honor? I thought it was supposed to be respected? I thought MEN in the military were supposed to be PROFESSIONALS? Is this the new patch for the newly out and proud? Just asking.

  32. Ssgt Melendez | July 20, 2012 at 6:27 pm |

    Oh my God *** its that!!!!! Not auth not a military conduct!!!

  33. Ssgt Melendez | July 20, 2012 at 6:28 pm |

    Oh my God *** its that! Not auth not a military conduct.

  34. Ssgt Melendez | July 20, 2012 at 6:28 pm |

    Oh my God *** its that! Not auth not a military conduct.

  35. Ssgt Melendez | July 20, 2012 at 6:28 pm |

    Oh my God *** its that! Not auth not a military conduct.

  36. You all say “oh I would correct this on the spot!”. We all know that is bs. You would just say things behind their back and wait for someone else to say something. As for the patch, I think you all need to get a sense humor. Your so worried about the uniform and unauthorized patches that you forget that the enemy doesn’t care about standards. They only want to kill you. It doesn’t matter to them you are completly in regs or out there with a rainbow patch on. As for the people saying they are glad they are retired because the military is embarrassing to them, you are unamerican. You should be proud of our military. Your comments are embarrassing. You might as well walk up to current military members and spit in their face. Then tell them you are better than them because you served before them.

  37. Ron Whittaker | July 21, 2012 at 2:35 pm |

    Military insignia are not supposed to be cute and cuddly. They,re supposed to be professional in nature and a strong representation of a service in general or an individual unit in particular. I don,t like this effort to make the military into some big lovable gummy bear when its mission is very serious and critical to the nation,s survival.

  38. Did you just compare Star Wars and Twilight you sck of ****. Whar universe do those even compare. Also its a morale patch as in not authorized for wear. I don’t get why there’s a debate

  39. Today’s military is full of pu**ies.

  40. With that said, I do agree; Regs are regs, and are to be followed. Still, I WILL wear my Rainbow Dash morale patch on deployment, whether it's visible or not. If "Pork Eating Crusader" and others can be worn, why the HELL can't ponies!?

    Further, I think a pony-loving infantryman is one of the SCARIEST things you will come across, and our enemy knows it!!! "A trained killer who loves PONIES!? This one MUST be cracked, and won't hesitate to kill us before we can get our IED planted!!!!"

  41. disgruntled postman | July 21, 2012 at 11:32 pm |

    IIt appears to me that more posters are upset about the little girl pony aspect than the unauthorized patch aspect. I saw all kinds of trunk monkeys, pirate flags, spartans, molan labe, etc patches worn with little commentary from the COC. It was considered a morale builder.

    We're making this into more of an issue than it deserves. If the COC doesn't want morale patches then ban them all and enforce it equally.

  42. AIRSOFT player, not MIL

  43. AC Teichert | July 22, 2012 at 10:55 am |

    Many years ago I was correctly admonished for wearing a black and gold Renger tab above my colored 101st Airborne division patch. The colored patch was authorized by Army directive. My logic, incorrect , was that the camouflage theme of my field uniform was already compromised may have been correct, but it was wrong. Next thing male transgender troops will want to wear skirts instead of trousers. This has gotten out of hand, with exceptions to accommodate those that want individuality to rule. It is called a uniform for a reason.

  44. just more gay lib, bs.

  45. Andrew Hamby | July 22, 2012 at 12:29 pm |

    I'm sorry, but this bashing of bronies and MLP is ridiculous. Yes, current military uniform regs prohibit these kinds of patches. But why are all the other morale patches allowed by the Company commander and these aren't? Besides, there are a number of bronies in the military. I'm one of them. I'm not a someone of the homosexual kind and i love MLP. And yet, people continue to hate because they don't understand. I'm sick of it. If it doesn't involve you. I respectfully ask you to keep your comments to yourself. Nobody cares

  46. The single guys could wear "My little hooker" patches.

  47. Retired MSG | July 22, 2012 at 12:58 pm |

    In Vietnam, soldiers wore many "unauthorized" patches — patches that were actually sown onto the uniform such as unit made LRRP patches, "Air Cav" patches, and Army pilots wore crossed sabres on their left collars in place of their warrant officer or commissioned branch insignia. I don't see the harm if it's only worn in theater.
    Now, admittedly, I'm not familiar with the Little Pony mentality or former TV show. After all, now we're the Army of marching in a Gay Pride parade. What's next?

  48. well the MLP is bad but what about the American Flag in unauthorized colors? Per the FLag code the flags colors are red white and blue not black and sage. I never wore the "subdued" flag on deployment.

  49. Absurd and Ridiculous! Soldiers who wear that Unofficial, Unauthorized Patch should be disciplined. What next, Transformers and Barbie patches?…..Give me a Break!

  50. MSG (Ret.) Rob | July 22, 2012 at 10:39 pm |

    Break the Rules, get disciplined…..That simple……..This political correctness is ridiculous!

  51. Punisher_1 | July 24, 2012 at 6:37 pm |

    Man I never thought about committing fratricide until now…… MLP patch really MFers? Okay all joking aside that’s asinine I see this in the video game world and wonder WTF are these dudes thinking. I can see if you wanna toss something on the front of your body armor thats not too crazy but this is seriously one the level of sissy ghey tard stuff

  52. Zenpistolero | July 24, 2012 at 9:21 pm |

    Whether the patch is a "NE CONJUGE NOBISCUM" rocker or the MLP patch, it's unauthorized. There are tons of ways to build morale with coins, bandannas, pennants, etc. Heck – get a tattoo if it means THAT much to you. Just don't mess with the uniform…

    A general once said something like, "If a leader can't get his troops to crease his uniform to within a fraction of an inch of regulations, that leader can't be counted on to get their troops to charge towards gunfire when under attack."

  53. ELDERLYREPTILE | July 24, 2012 at 10:21 pm |

    Isn't that special? Makes me feel all warm and cuddlie inside. One look at "My Little Pony" and all the
    bad and nasty people in the world will just cry and want to be our friends. Sigh!

  54. This has to be a joke. God, I hope this is a freakin joke. The safety and security of the world is in the hands of youngsters with these childish issues. Tell these soldiers to grow up and wear the uniform with pride.

  55. What part of “unauthorized” don’t people get. Attention to detail is not a joke in the military. If you can’t get the little stuff right how can you be depended upon to deliver when things get difficult.

  56. A soldier is supposed to be disciplined, damn it. What’s next? Day-care Center timeouts so a soldier can watch cartoons?

  57. Are you freaking kidding me??? My Little Pony??? Oh, and Kokabur: You're 28 and say "super awesome"??? You sure you're not 12???

  58. So glad to see things have come full circle, and to know there IS justice in this world if you just wait long enough. How very far we have come from the days of pin-up calendars on hangar walls and busty broads with "cutie" names adorning the fuselages of our WWII warplanes. This current fascination with "female" icons, whether rainbow ponies, kitties who say "Hello," or singing mermaids, suggests a need in our culture for a balance to millenia of male-dominated warrior society norms. The road to equal rights has been a long, hard one for women on this planet, and the battle is not yet won. On the other hand, the appearance of animal "spirits" in the war room may be just one more way that thanks to decades of media exploitation (movies, video gaming, action hero toys, etc.) today's generation shows it believes that guns don't really kill

  59. This is why I'm leaving the Army. Outside of units like 10th Mountain, 101st Airborne, 82nd Airborne, and a few others, the discipline is at horrendous levels. This is a 'facebook' culture infesting the Army. It's all about individual expression.

    This particular example, that of the above story, embarrasses me as a soldier. Take that patch off. You are NOT authorized that junk on a uniform. Better men and women before us put the honor in the uniform we wear. We are supposed to leave the uniform as we found it. I'm embarrassed.

    Further, what has happened to the American male? Lost in a sea of Twitter, Facebook, public diaries, and other whining tools, men in this country are lacking achievement. We once went to the moon and stormed the beaches of Normandy. We're now relegating ourselves to wearing 'My Little Pony' patches and whining that no one 'understands us'. What an embarrassment.

  60. Bloody Bucket | July 25, 2012 at 3:41 pm |

    I'm in the NG. If someone showed up to drill wearing that, they would be pushing till the paperwork to send them to a POG unit went though. This has to be a joke…and a bad one at that!

  61. I'm sure with the latest DADT policy being lifted, and such "glorious" celebrations as the Pentagon did with the recent homo-day event, that we'll see all kinds of perverse morale patches, like "Rump Rangers", or "Brokeback Mountain". If there are any offended by what I've written, you can GFY. I'm just glad I'm retired and did my 3 wars before those côcksuckêrs affected my operations.

  62. | July 25, 2012 at 4:56 pm |

    This reminds me of the character "Cpl Klinger" in the M.A.S.H series who wore womens clothing to get a psychiatric discharge from the Army. Its just plain wrong.

  63. John P Struthers | July 25, 2012 at 7:57 pm |

    If you can survive a wound or a truck full of of shook up guys -you know- who were turned into human marbles. This is a out in the boonies only, non-issue.Monster deros due in 18 months or less and that means staying focused mainly on you and your bud's staying alive and in one piece.
    What affect is this little patch that got some outside/public noteriety going to have on military tradition and professionalism. Certainly, less than flash bomb dancing in the mess tent or squad parody, sing a longs and dances. Art work authorized or not became a way of life … it didn't hurt the Army Air Corps during WWII. And there must have been at least 1000 patches designed by Disney for all branches.
    The military is made of the people in it , you can be tuff but keep it tempered and keep a sense of humor…we can all use a laugh during the best and worst of times.I'm no fan of my little pony but it won't break the Army.Reign it in when it gets out of hand or the clowns forget to stash the patches out of your area or when the brass show up.Biggest worry here is the bright (target) colors on the patch and some nasty, not so connected with the troops and their function types mouthing off

  64. Michael Gallagher | July 25, 2012 at 8:44 pm |

    Where is this guy's First Sergeant!

  65. redprincess | July 25, 2012 at 8:57 pm |

    military has a uniform code – authorized patches only!!! put the cutie, needle point etc patches on your civies

  66. National guard and reserve units have little to no standards and discipline…… hate to say it but that's the truth …. they shouldn't be considered army

  67. Is this the United States Military, the strongest killing force on this planet, or is this an elementary school saturday afternoon cartoon fan club?
    I know one thing for sure and that this is so disturbing as to warrant a full investigation into the complete incompetence of military leadership.

  68. PVTPuerto_Rico | July 26, 2012 at 4:37 am |

    WTF is wrong with you guys who keep slamming on the fans who are in the service? they're you're F***ing brothers and sisters, start acting like it. if you're an NCO and talking about how you'd mess up one of your soldiers if you discovered that they were a fan of MLP then you're not a true leader, just because these men are watching a show doesnt dictate their "manliness" or wether they're a good soldier, what dictates them being a "man" or a good soldier is wether or not they'd take a bullet for you and how dedicated they are to our country, I bet some of these guys can whoop some a** in combatives. heres another thing, they earned the right to watch whatever TV show they want to watch the minute their boots hit the ground in a warzone. I'm 21 and in the Army and I still play pokemon. I hope you all have a nice day.

  69. WOW…..first sory I read was about service members marching in the gay pride parade IN uniform and now… little pony patches!!!!!! Anyone else see a pattern here.????? Forget the slippery slope we are being pushed off a cliff!!!! The respect is gone. Soon the "soft target" will be our military!

  70. Retired and proud | July 26, 2012 at 9:54 am |

    The right sleeve on an Army uniform is reserved for that soldiers combat patch. Good soldiers wear the patch with pride,. (showing their participation in combat in support for the USA). I am embarrassed by this lack of pride in these soldiers. I am thankful that my service (38 years), my 3 brothers service, my fathers service and my wifes fathers service, all occured in a time when patriotism and love of service was considered normal.,

  71. CDCRAWFORD | July 26, 2012 at 12:03 pm |

    What will some want to wear nest, the rainbow patch? Thanks to Obama & the SOD some went public and received national attention recently in San Diego with their "Gay Parade"….Gay used to mean happy back in the day when the military was a proud profession…see what's next now that DADT has opened the flood gates to a bunch of wimps/sisseys! This once proud soldier is very happy that he retired back in 1982! Oooops, pushed many soft/weak_ buttons didn't I?????

  72. Not to mention this is a trademark or at least a copyright infringement if they did not get the permission of the My Little Pony people.

  73. Logic Mine | July 26, 2012 at 6:17 pm |

    We are talking about MEN right?

  74. I have seen guiltier pleasures in my time in service. Watching a children's cartoon is fairly tame from what I have witnessed. I'm a father who is a nerd at heart, I grew up on comic books, video games, and science fiction. In fact my own daughter and wife love the show, I never watched it, only saw an image here or there on the internet. It wasn't until I went to a local comic convention in Seattle with my family did I realized the magnitude and age group of it's fan base. Personally I see nothing wrong with it as long as it doesn't interfere with your performance. But to avoid ridicule from your peers it's bests kept under wraps. And if you ask me to "brohoof", I swear I'm smoking you until judgment day.

  75. errr oops I meant to say (you KNOW how ole Ranger's can be. lol)

  76. We have become a nation of The Rules Don’t Apply to Me and that has little room in the military. That is the biggest problem in the Iraq and Afgan Army little discipline. They want to do as they please. If you don’t want to follow the rules don’t join the military. Discipline in the ranks is what makes our Armed Forces some of the best in the world.

  77. The US Army brings **** like Xbox 360’s, PS3’s etc on big exercises like Talisman Sabre here in Australia, and you are crying about shoulder patches?

    You carry on about discipline yet US troops still smoke when on patrol, they play loud music when on patrol, they make god aweful noise when on patrol, and get lit up by RESERVISTS and dont have any idea how such a thing could occur.

    You are all making a mountain out of a mole hill!

  78. This is just another reason the Marines don't have all the patches the Army does. From the Marine Corps viewpoint if it isn't in the uniform regs then it doesn't get put on the uniform – PERIOD.

  79. Felicianomiko | September 18, 2012 at 12:16 pm |

    Let's put this in perspective for a second. We have military personnel in combat situations. It is a high stress environment that takes a huge toll on a persons mental state. What better way to counter act the death and violence around you than with something very soft and kind? I don't see a huge difference between My Little Pony and knitting. They are two sides of the same idea, peace, calm, soft, domestic and sweet. It's called keeping ones mind in one piece here people. The patches are another thing, and that's not what I'm addressing. I'm addressing the attack on military people who would rather not come home with severe PTSD, and if My Little Pony helps with that, then good for them. Sheesh.

  80. NLR Propogandist | September 21, 2012 at 3:39 pm |

    Looks like I'm late to the party. For whatever it's worth, I am a military officer with 10 years of active duty service. I enjoy beer, boobs, death metal and My Little Pony. Not necessarily all at the same time. That'd be weird. Or awesome…I'm not sure. Anyways, people will always think it's weird, gay or psychotic. There's little I can say to convince them otherwise, and it isn't really worth my time to try.

    When it comes to uniform violations, I correct them when I see them, just like every service member should. Morale patches are kind of a gray area, and ranting for or against them won't really get anywhere. Saying that allowing some harmless cutie mark patch can lead to KKK patches is stupid. When MLP is long forgotten, there will be some new patch fad to get people wrapped around the axle, but it's really not worth getting spun up over.

    tl;dr – relax, don't judge, and just focus on the damn mission

  81. NVYdaughter | January 10, 2013 at 3:05 pm |

    Would be interesting to see people lose their minds if a unity actually adopted a Pony as their mascot and incorporated it into the official unit patch. Couldn't really pitch a fit about it then.

    It takes a secure man to be a proud brony in the face of people's misconceptions. I applaud the spirit of these guys.


  83. illuminatiexposer | June 26, 2013 at 12:41 am |

    Considering the military is part of the new world order, and mlp is also some occult symbology, anything goes!

  84. I. A brony and I think it's fine for that to happen, I wear shirts and the media doesn't give a shit about it, I think there just overestimate reacting

  85. Yayyyy ponies! Pony pony pony!

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